Cubs starting catcher Welington Castillo is disabled list bound with a rib cage injury suffered Sunday and they’ve called up journeyman backup catcher Eli Whiteside from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.
Chicago also welcomed Hector Rondon back from paternity leave and designated for assignment reliever Jose Veras, who was signed to a one-year, $4 million deal this offseason with the idea that he’d serve as the team’s closer. Instead he ended up saving zero games before being dropped with an 8.10 ERA in 13 innings.
Veras has generally been a setup-caliber reliever and as recently as last season had a 3.02 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 62 innings for the Tigers and Astros, but it seems unlikely that another team would want to take on his remaining salary via waiver claim.
Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.
The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”
Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.
Now, however, Kopech has opted out.